Background: There are various methods for rehabilitating round-shoulder posture (RSP), including strengthening exercises, stretching, and using a shoulder brace or taping to correct the altered posture. However, no study has determined which intervention is the most effective of the three methods to decrease RSP (intervention #1: scapular posterior tilting exercise alone [hereafter, SPT], intervention #2: the scapular posterior tilting exercise after PM stretching [PM stretch+SPT], and intervention #3: the scapular posterior tilting exercise with use of a shoulder brace [SPT+brace]).
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the SPT, PM stretch+SPT, and SPT+brace on RSP, PM index (PMI), and lower trapezius (LT) and serratus anterior (SA) activity in subjects with RSP.
Methods: In total, fifteen young men with RSP, participated in the study (21.46 ± 2.30 years old). RSP was confirmed using a caliper measure. Surface electromyography (SEMG) data for LT and SA activity were collected during the three interventions, and the SEMG data are expressed as a percentage of the maximal voluntary isometric contraction (%MVIC).
Results: RSP was significantly less in the PM stretch+SPT and SPT+brace than in the SPT (P<0.05). PMI was significantly greater in the PM stretch+SPT and SPT+brace than in the SPT (P<0.05). LT activity was significantly greater in the PM stretch+SPT than in the SPT or SPT+brace in subjects with RSP (P<0.05).
Conclusions: The PM stretching exercise and application of a shoulder brace may help correct RSP and restore the length of the PM. The posterior tilting exercise after PM stretching was the most effective method for eliciting greater LT muscle activation among the interventions tested.
Keywords: Pectoralis minor stretching; Round-shoulder posture; Scapular posterior tilting exercise; Shoulder brace.
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